Belfast Telegraph

Anger as man shot in 'barbaric' Belfast attack

Forensic officers at the scene of the attack in O’Neill’s Lane on Thursday
Forensic officers at the scene of the attack in O’Neill’s Lane on Thursday
Allan Preston

By Allan Preston

Neighbours have told of their shock after a paramilitary-style attack in west Belfast.

A man in his 50s was hospitalised after being shot twice in the legs around 8.50pm on Thursday night at a property on O'Neill's Lane.

The front door had been shut during the attack and the shots were fired at knee height through a side window.

Two men dressed in dark-coloured tracksuits were then seen leaving the area on foot in the direction of Brittons Parade.

Yesterday afternoon a bullet hole was visible with glass fragments on the ground outside.

Residents in the quiet street of new-build properties spoke of hearing three shots.

One young mother said: "I'm very shocked to hear about it, I couldn't believe it happened on our street. My wee boy said he heard the shots - three loud bangs."

Another woman said: "This street's usually quiet, you wouldn't hear anything like this at all. It was definitely a shock to hear about it this morning.

"Everybody works around here and the streets are usually empty at night."

A man visiting his daughter said: "It's just madness something like that would happen here."

SDLP councillor Brian Heading urged any witnesses to come forward and speak to police.

"This is another barbaric attack by thugs under the cover of darkness in our city," he said.

"They're bringing nothing but pain to this city and they aren't wanted.

"I would appeal to anyone with information about those responsible to come forward to police.

"The people behind these kind of attacks aren't anonymous shadows.

"They are known and they have to be stopped.

"They are dangerous, reckless criminals and they're a threat to everyone in our community."

Detective inspector Adam Ruston said: "This was a brutal attack carried out in a residential area where families with children and other residents were going about their normal evening routines.

"Groups involved in attacks like this offer nothing to society. They do not represent the interests of the local community and seek only to exert control over communities through fear and violence."

Anyone with information should call detectives at Musgrave on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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